Rossini wrote an opera entitled The Thieving Magpie, named after that bird’s kleptic propensities. I think the subject of the opera lives near me. Every couple of days, since I began leaving food out for the community cats, the food-bowl has been emptied. I thought that I had some very hungry animals in my neighbourhood. I do, but they aren’t mammals.
The solution is simple, of course. I will put the food-bowl out in the evening, when the magpies are sleeping off their reiving, and the cats are prowling. The only time I have seen cats actually eating the nutrition I’ve offered has been at night, so they know it’s there at that time. I will bring in the food each morning.
But I think I may scatter some kernels for the magpies, regardless. Though they are rather aggressive toward other birds, even driving them out of districts by eating their eggs, they do provide a bit of entertainment for my beasts, and I believe in paying performers for their work. But I won’t give them too much. They’ll just end up stealing what they want, anyway.